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Diploma Registered Practical Nurse to B.Sc.N. (McMaster)

2018/19 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1185
School of Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide

Program Handbook Guidelines

The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting, and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.


To the School of Health & Life Sciences

Your Bridge to Practice

bridge logo 

What Can This Mean For You?

  • The opportunity to begin, today, to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in life-like settings and with real-life scenarios, rehearsing for the day when you will be in these real-life situations.
  • A unique inter-professional opportunity, given the number of different disciplines in the school. You will learn with, about and from your future colleagues.
  • An opportunity to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, social and study spaces in our Cowan Health Sciences Centre, as well as other unique learning resources such as the Motz Emergency Service Bays in the Regional of Waterloo Paramedic Services Station, or the WeConnect Agora and Simulation Centre (Living Classroom at University Gates).
  • Your goal of being viewed by employers as a "preferred graduate" is up to you; your professors, support staff, administrative staff and college services look forward to supporting you as you journey from day one to your graduation.

Top 5 Expectations of You

 1.    Use MyConestoga to Connect To:

Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca)

  • This is the official communication vehicle regarding your academic requirements. Communication with Faculty/staff should only be through your conestoga email account. Communication through other accounts may not be responded to. Check it regularly and respond as requested.

BscN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub

  • This feature can be accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga  
  • Source to information regarding Conestoga College and your Studies
  • Link to Avenue to Learn
  • Student Handbook posting

Avenue To Learn:

  • This is your resource for all course-based program information and course-based communication with your faculty
  • Make A2L your partner in learning - this is your guide to all course activity.

Practicum Health Requirements: (Go to "Services" and find "Practicum Services Link")

  • Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).

2. Know and Plan Around Your Academic Schedule With Your Family

Course Schedule:

  • Your schedule has been planned with many people and multiple considerations in mind.

The Academic Year has critical dates: Please plan around these dates and cross reference these dates with the McMaster University sessional dates, to ensure you are here when you need to be.

Academic Dates
Fall 2018 Dates Winter 2019 Dates
Fall Semester Classes Start September 4 Winter Semester Classes Start Jan. 7
Mid-Term Recess  October 8-14 Mid-Term Recess Feb. 18- Feb 24th
Final Exams Dec. 7- Dec. 20 Final Exams April 11-29
Intersession (no classes) Dec. 21- Jan 4/ 19 Intersession (no classes)

May 1- May 5

3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become - From Day One

Civility, respect and professional behaviours will be key in the quality of your learning experience—and a future employer's first and lasting impression.

Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out Student Code of Conduct for our community at Conestoga.

Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your practicum and your program completion will be in jeopardy. 

Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend To Enhance Success

Please Review Attendance Expectations in Section four of the Handbook: Attendance for class, labs and practicum underpins student learning and your experience as a future professional.

Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Program Handbook.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status

Student Records if you have questions about your student record, academic status and or program withdrawals, speak to your Program Coordinator.

Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.

Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please refer to the Student Guide for more information.

Student Forms: To access forms go to the Student Forms page.

Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures.

Student Affairs Polices & Procedures: May be found at the Student Affairs page.

Top 5 Resources for You

1. Your Teaching Team

Contact Information is posted on Avenue to Learn.

2. Counselling and Services for Personal Needs

College Counselling: Professionally-trained counsellors can help you achieve your educational goals—for such common support as stress management, anxiety, depression, transition issues, family issues, etc. Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential. Arrange to see a Counsellor quickly if academic or personal problems stand in the way of your college success. To make an appointment, visit or call Doon-Room 1A101, 519-748-5220, ext. 3360, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Check the  counselling services website for more information.
Good2Talk: Confidential 24-hour phone line for stresses big and small. Call 1-866-925-5454.
Conestoga Security: Provides a safe and secure work and learning environment. Call 519-748-5220 ext. 3357. Refer to the  Student Guide for Conestoga's Safety and Security Services and procedures.
Student Financial Services: Student  Financial Services can help you by providing you with options to finance your post-secondary education. Students who are in need of emergnecy financial assistance, follow this  link for more information. 
CSI Food Bank: The  CSI Food Bank is an emergency food relief program for current Conestoga students.
Health Services: Your family doctor on campus. Check out the services that they offer on their  websiteor call 519-748-5220 ext. 3679. Services available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.A full-time health nurse is on site.
Facility Information: Refer to the  Student Guide for information on after-hours parking, classroom and computer labs.

3. Accessibility Services

Students with Documented Disabilities are encouraged to book an appointment with Accessibility Services to access accommodations –early in your program. Disability-related documentation will be required to book an appointment. Go to the  Accessibility Services webpage for more information.
Adaptive Technology Aids and Special Facilities: Adaptive Aids are arranged through Accessibility Services; –accessible washrooms are located throughout the campus. Contact the  Adaptive Technology Lab for more information on adaptive technology aids.

4. Student Study Spaces and General Supports

Cowan Health Sciences Centre (F-wing)

Student Lounge Space: Enjoy seats on each of the three floors. Plugs for laptops and charging stations are located throughout these areas.

Student Meeting Room Space: There is both formal and informal student study space available for use within the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. For more information on the availability of this space, please go to the Interprofessional Resources Office (2F16).

General Access Computers and printers are located in two areas:
  • 1st Floor—in the student lounge area with photocopier
  • 2nd Floor—at the Customer Service Desk and kiosk area

Open Access Lab, 2nd Floor, 2F18.

This is available on a come and go basis for health & pre-health programs practicing key skills. It is open from 8:00am-4:00pm. Book with an Open Access Staff. 

Tech Bar: Drop by the Tech Bar for one-on-one assistance. Information can be found on the  Library Services website

5. Services for Students

Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing; Go to the  Library Resource Centre page for more information.
International Education Office: Check out the  International Education Office for services available to you.
Learning Commons: Your one-stop resource for academic services and resources, such as Math, Writing Skills, Peer Tutors and resources for APA. Check out their  website or Access through MyConestoga.
Student Engagement: Get involved and shape your experience. Visit the  Student Engagement page orConnect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
Student Financial Services: Your one-stop resource to apply for student  awards, bursaries, and scholarships apply early to increase your chances. If you are in a financial crisis, please see the  Emergency Assistance website for more information. 
Bookstore: Your location to buy books (check out their options including used books), clothing for your program and general supplies. Find it in the A wing, just inside Door 1.

Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op Placements (if you are in a degree); your source of help to look for summer jobs or future careers and gain help preparing your resume. Check out the  Co-op and Career Services site for more information.

Lockers are available with your tuition; important to store your extra clothes and books, etc. so that you can be at your professional best in the lab.  Learn how to obtain a locker.
Information Technology: IT Service Desk—1E12 (provides supports & general assistance with college-related needs such as Email, Network accounts, connectivity & wireless printing. Go to the Web  IT Service Desk for more information.

ONE Card: This is your official identification card designed to keep campus simple by offering an all-in-one solution to accessing eligible on-campus services. Check the eligibility on their  website


Letter to Students

Dear RPN-BScN Nursing Students,

Welcome to RPN-BScN Nursing at the Conestoga Site of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program. We are very proud of our BScN Program at Conestoga College, and are proud of our students and graduates.  You have worked very hard to get to this point and are now beginning the next stage of your journey to reach your career goals. This is a very exciting time.

The material in this handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, regulations, procedures, and processes specific to the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program.  Please note that general information about the College can be found in the Conestoga College Student Guide, which applies to all students regardless of program.  Academic Standards and regulations can be found in the McMaster University, Undergraduate Calendar, as well as program specifics in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook, which will be referred to throughout this handbook.

Please take time to familiarize yourself with this material.  Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program.  The BScN faculty and staff will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.  If you do not understand ask your program team member, professor, level coordinator, or Program Chair for an explanation.

On behalf of the Nursing Faculty and staff at the Conestoga Site, I wish you much success and many rewarding experiences with us in the RPN-BScN Program!

All the very best to you in your studies.


Heather Cross Signature.PNG

Heather Cross, Chair of Nursing

BScN Coordinators and Faculty

Program Overview

Program Description

For students entering from high school and/or living at home, you are now attending a post-secondary educational institute and are considered an adult learner. As such, information about your academic achievements, health care or educational concerns will only be discussed with you personally. You are expected to be responsible for your own problems and resolve them on your own. Your Faculty are here to support you. Please feel comfortable to approach any professor or coordinator for assistance as needed.
You are now a BScN Nursing Student in the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program (Conestoga Site). Therefore it is important that you become very familiar with the information in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program (UNEP) Handbook that is found on the McMaster Learning Management system, 'Avenue to Learn'.
The UNEP Handbook provides a complete overview of the BScN Kaleidoscope Curriculum, a summary of the program and teaching-learning methodology, the philosophy and beliefs about nursing and nursing education, and the goals that students must meet before they can proceed to the next level.
Please refer to the UNEP Handbook and familiarize yourself the contents. Your professor will be referring to the handbook frequently in your Level 1 Nursing courses because it provides the foundation for nursing education in the BScN Program.

Provincial Program Quality Standards - Program-specific Context

The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program at the Conestoga Site offers an integrated plan of learning over four years in which the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values critical to your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse are presented in a logical sequence which builds on itself and provides the opportunity to integrate increasing knowledge with opportunities to apply theory to practice in more complex ways. Important milestones in your program are as follows:
In Level One you will concentrate on learning communication skills, nursing assessments, humanistic and professional caring, and beginning evidence- informed decision making (EIDM) skills, and relating the biological sciences to nursing practice.
In Level Two you will be entering the Professional Practice environment and caring for medical and surgical clients. You will continue to learn a variety of hands-on skills, and apply the communication and assessment skills you learned in Level One. Your EIDM skills will expand as will your knowledge and use of statistics. The sciences will include pharmacology and microbiology, both applicable in the professional practice setting.
In Level Three you will look after clients with more complex needs and in a variety of settings such as Maternal Health, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Oncology, and Cardiology plus medical and surgical settings .
Your practice in the community setting will increase as will your ability to critique articles and apply theory to practice.
In Level Four you will be able to practice under the guidance of a Nursing Preceptor in the Professional Practice setting. You will learn more about research as well as system issues and preparation for Professional Practice.
In RPN-BScN In your first year of study, RPN-BScN students transition into the role of the baccalaureate nursing student and address the content of levels 1 and 2 of the basic stream. Once this first year is completed, you will follow the curriculum as it is delivered in levels 3 and 4 in the basic stream.

External Recognition

We are very pleased that the quality of your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree has been recognized by external bodies and employers. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing has given this program their highest level of accreditation which is 7 years. Conestoga College was in the first number of colleges to obtain funding to integrate a simulation center into their curriculum. Conestoga nursing graduates have been employed in many different areas and specialties in Ontario, Canada and internationally.

Program Quality Standards – Curriculum Content

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Performance Indicators

This Program provides you with:       

  • Skills and abilities specific to your chosen career. Curriculum within the program is based on current nursing theory and practice. Professional practice courses will ensure that students are employable in the nursing field immediately upon graduation and eligible to write the Ontario Registration Exams

  • Learning/ topics relevant to your future success. Course curriculum is developed based on national program standards as well as the Entry Level Competencies of entry-level Registered Nurses in Ontario. Topics within each course will relate directly to the development of students' values, knowledge, and skills requisite to professional practice.  Your instructor will share real-life examples of how course content is directly related to the work of the nurse in a variety of areas

  • Teachers and staff who help you to understand your chosen career. All faculties within the program have a Master's degree in nursing or other related field as well as practical experience. Faculty and staff will incorporate real life examples, case studies, and guest speakers into the curriculum that illustrate the role, responsibilities, challenges and rewards of nursing

  • Faculty and staff have been chosen for their passion, and professional experience as well as their aptitude and credentials for education.The development of your writing skills. The ability to write well will be important in your work. There are opportunities to grow in your scholarly writing skills implemented in the junior years of the program. Feedback from Faculty on essay assignments throughout the program will suggest ways to improve writing abilities. Professional practice courses will implement writing skills that you will use on a daily basis in the practice setting

  • The development of your speaking skills. There will be opportunities through presentation assignments to speak to both small and large groups. Feedback on presentations will include comments on student speaking skills and suggest ways to improve. In several courses, small group discussion related to a care scenario will give you the opportunity to practice your speaking skills and receive feedback about your contributions to the group discussion

  • The opportunity to use your ability to solve problems using math techniques. You will be using math techniques to solve problems surrounding dispensing medications to your clients. There will be ample amount of time to practice these skills in the practice setting

  • Opportunities to develop your ability to work with others. This is a hallmark of successful employees in every organization.  The problem based approach that we use in the program will help students learn effective ways of working with others.  Students will have many opportunities each semester to develop their abilities to work with others through collaboration with their classmates on presentations, essays, and weekly in their Person Based classes

  • Opportunities to develop your abilities to solve problems. Problem-solving frameworks will be addressed through course curriculum—as part of becoming the nurse whose role is to work with clients and situations constantly requiring creativity and problem solving.   Case studies, ethical dilemmas, simulations and practice examples will challenge students' abilities to problem-solve in areas that relate to professional practice

  • Enhancement of your computer skills. Your use of on-line resources plus your ability in advanced literacy research skills will demonstrate your capability with computers and will provide evidence to future employers of your capability to work in the "e world"

  • Opportunities to further your education after graduation. There are many opportunities for the B.Sc.N graduate to further their education.  These opportunities include pursuing a Masters or PhD in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner or certifications in a number of categories, to name a few. The curriculum has a 7 year accreditation by CASN which is the highest that is given

  • Experience that will be useful to your future life outside of work. Course curriculum and assignments provide information regarding self-awareness and personal development, professionalism, family relationships, healthy lifestyles, health teaching, community and political awareness, leadership, problem-solving skills and teamwork.   The ethics and values needed to be successful in nursing have applicability to many aspects of a student's personal life

  • Overall--knowledge and skills that will be useful in your future career. The program curriculum provides information and opportunities for skill development that relate directly to the knowledge and skills required of a Registered Nurse.

The breadth and depth of the curriculum will be consistent with the Entry to Practice Competencies from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the standards that Canadian Association of the Schools of Nursing (CASN) puts forth.

Program Quality Standards – Teachers and Learning Resources      

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Performance Indicators

This Program provides you with:       

  • Teachers with in-depth knowledge of their subjects' Faculty within the program have a Master's degree in nursing or other related field. as well as practical experience

  • Teachers and staff who are up-to-date/current in their fields. Faculty and staff ensure that they are current in the field through professional development, research, volunteer work and/or part time employment within the field. They will bring examples from the workplaces and literature to make their teaching meaningful

  • Teachers who are effective in their presentation of the subject material. The curriculum is taught using a problem based approach in the nursing courses.  Teachers do not "teach" in the conventional sense; they facilitate learning by posing questions, encouraging critical thinking, suggesting avenues to pursue as well as clarifying information. Thus this indicator is not applicable for this program

  • Teachers and staff are evaluated on their facilitation techniques and effectiveness on a regular basis and provided with feedback on enhancing their skills

  • Teachers and staff who are helpful outside of class. Students requiring help outside of class have a responsibility to ask for the help they need. All faculties have time to meet with their students

  • Student requests for meetings will be responded to as quickly as possible

  • Student emails and voice messages will be returned as soon as possible but no later than two working days after receipt

  • Feedback about your progress. Feedback will be given on all returned assignments (graded and ungraded). Students will also meet with their tutor's one on one in Professional Practice at midterm and at final, plus receive a written feedback form at that time.  Feedback for the Person based courses will occur during the course setting at midterm and final, with written confidential reports also given at that time.  Students who wish further feedback about their progress may request a meeting with any Faculty member for that purpose

  • A high quality classroom learning experience is most effective in an environment of respect and cooperation.  Problem based learning involves students to listen, prepare, participate, ask questions and engage in discussion

  • Classes will begin and end on time (Your cooperation and respect for others is key to making this happen)

  • A high quality of lab/shop learning. Students will be using the Clinical Learning Center as well as the Clinical Center for Simulation during their Professional Practice course

  • A high quality of other learning experiences. Students may be engaging in things such as field trips, seminars, and guest speakers

  • Field placement, clinical experiences or co-op work terms. Clinical experiences occur in regional agencies including those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Stratford and beyond

  • Current and relevant course materials (books, software, handouts). Faculty will ensure that texts and supporting material are current and relevant.  Students will have some choice as to what textbooks they buy for some courses.  Individual course material will be posted on Avenue to Learn for students to use as needed.  Feedback will be elicited from students regarding the quality of course materials

  • High quality Lab/shop facilities and equipment. The Clinical Learning Center and the Clinical Center for Simulation have been set up to mimic actual professional practice environments.  Equipment is constantly reviewed to make sure that it is similar to that used in the agencies and working correctly.

Essential Competencies

The College of Nurses of Ontario (2014) provides a list of entry-to-practice competencies. The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN – Conestoga site program provides education to cover all these competencies.  See College of Nurses of Ontario (2014). Competencies for Entry Level Registered Nurse Practice.  Retrieved June 30 1016 from http://www.cno.org/Global/docs/reg/41037_EntryToPracitic_final.pdf





Communication and Contact Information

Program Coordinator Contact Information

Level Name Extension Email
Level 1 Dianne Dal Bello Ext. 3971 ddalbello@conestogac.on.ca
Level 2 Andrea Miller Ext. 3974 amiller@conestogac.on.ca
Level 3 Dorothy Baby Ext. 3900 dbaby@conestogac.on.ca
Level 4 Susanne Bush Ext. 3914 sbush@conestogac.on.ca
RPN-BScN Jennifer Mohaupt Ext. 3959  jmohaupt@conestogac.on.ca

Administration Contact Information

Role Name Extension Email
Chair, Nursing Heather Cross Ext. 3434  hcross@conestogac.on.ca
Program Assistant Krisden Galloway Ext. 3437 kgalloway@conestogac.on.ca
Academic Advisor   Ada Harrison Ext. 3689    aharrison@conestogac.on.ca

Contacting Program Staff

When contacting program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use e-mail.  Your message should include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • McMaster Student Number
  • Course and level
  • Brief description of reason for contact

Student E-mail

All students are supplied with both a Conestoga College and McMaster email. When communicating with Faculty please use McMaster/Avenue to Learn email ONLY . Avenue to Learn can also be used to communicate with your tutors. Non-college e-mail addresses (e.g. Hotmail) are not acceptable. Students are expected to check both their college and university e-mail regularly as official communication will be via this method.

Faculty Availability

a. Procedures to Enter into Faculty & Staff Work Spaces

Faculty/staff offices are located on 4B and students are welcome to see individual Faculty and staff to discuss course work, assignments, or just to say hello. Telephones for internal use are located outside the entry to Faculty workspaces on 4B.  Beside the phone is a directory with extension numbers and office locations.

During the first several days during the start of the semester Faculty and staff will explain how you can contact them outside of class time.  As Faculty and staff have diverse schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure they are available.  If you have an appointment with a Faculty/staff member, please call to confirm that you have arrived and please do not enter until you have confirmation that they are at their pod.  If you do not have an appointment, please call the person you wish to meet with to confirm that they are present and can see you; if you do not reach them, please leave a message. In the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not wander into these work spaces looking for them.

b. Procedures for Dropping off Assignments

If arrangements have not been previously made with individual Faculty, students are to drop off assignments into the Wooden Drop Boxes outside Faculty areas.

Student Engagement

MUNSS (The McMaster University Nursing Student Society)

  1. Purpose is to foster in its members’ the ideals and interests of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College, as an interdisciplinary and collaborative community
  2. To promote a spirit of unit and fellowship among students of the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program
  3. To promote opportunities for professional, personal, and social development for Nursing Students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program
  4. To be the recognized means of communication between the nursing student body, the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program, the McMaster Students Union   (MSU), the Mohawk Students Association (MSA), the Conestoga Students Incorporated (CSI), and national and provincial nursing and nursing student associations
  5. To stimulate professional and educational growth in the nursing community; and
  6. To advocate for the needs of the students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program and to build capacity and empower them throughout their student career

Student Engagement

Student Concerns/Issues: BScN McMaster Handbook

Student Representation

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga agree that a student has the right to invite a member of CSI to a student/Faculty meeting, provided that 24 hours advance notice is given to faculty. This advance notice will ensure that all parties will have an opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting.

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which is made up of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. They meet several times a year to discuss the direction in which that industry is heading and any improvements that can be made to keep the program current. This helps to ensure that students are learning material that is relevant to their industry.

At the beginning of each year, the program will ask for student volunteers. The program will decide which students will represent years one and two. The student attendees are important members of the committee and are expected to be present at the meetings. Students must prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Chair/Coordinator which will be presented at the meeting. Students are expected to be professional, dress in business attire and engage in discussions.

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)

Conestoga College offers many unique and exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. One of the things that contribute to the excellence of this college is the host of exciting extra-curricular opportunities that add to the culture of this fine institution. WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative) is one such club whose members strive to 'learn with, from, and about' each other.

Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. The website includes information on past events (pictures and videos) as well as how to get involved. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.


Student Feedback

Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:

Key Performance Indicators

All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.

Student Appraisal of Teaching

The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT form gives teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.

The SAT process occurs in the last one-third of the semester. Typically about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term, and each has two courses selected by their academic managers for appraisal. All teachers have a SAT review at least once every two years. The SAT process is managed by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning using an online survey system specifically designed for course/teacher evaluations.  After all marks for the semester have been submitted, a summary of results goes to the academic manager to be shared with the faculty member. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during thier Continuing Education course.

Class Cancellations

Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence

Refer to Avenue to Learn

Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations (92.9; 88.3; 1460; 96.7, 105.3, and 1240). It is up to staff and students to listen for campus closures. If the college is closed a message will be left on the campus switchboard after office hours. A notice will also be placed on the college website.

Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations

Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to faculty absences. To receive such personal notifications students must subscribe to this special service.

To subscribe:

  • Log in to the Student Portal
  • Select Notifications under the Profile tab
  • Select the method by which you would like to be notified
  • Click Update.

Note: To change the email address to which these notifications will be sent, select My Addresses under the Profile Tab, and change the default email address.


Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Code of Behavior

Students are expected to behave in accordance with both Conestoga College and McMaster University policies in regard to behavior. These policies can be found in your BScN Program Handbook and Conestoga College Student Guide. Each BScN student is responsible for ensuring that her or his practice and conduct meet legislative requirements and the standards of the Nursing profession. (College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Professional Standards, 2002).
Each Student:

  • Is accountable and responsible for own actions
  • Ensures practice is consistent with current legislation and the standards of practice as defined by the College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Has the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in her or his setting while striving to improve the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in specialized settings
  • Students are expected to work in partnership with their Professor/Clinical Tutors who are Nurses in an Educator role
  • Will be provided learning opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and clinical experience needed to practice
  • Will be evaluated on their ability to meet the required learning outcomes for each course experience

College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Standards include:
Conestoga College has been given the mandate to prepare Registered Nurses.  The Province of Ontario expects the College to graduate Nurses who meet the standards that have been established for the profession.  The College of Nurses Standards for Practice include continued competency, professional service to the public, current and relevant knowledge, application of this knowledge, professional behavior, responsibility/accountability, and upholding ethical standards.  The College of Nurses Ethical Standards value client well-being, client choice, privacy and confidentiality, respect for life, maintaining commitments, truthfulness, and fairness.
Registered Nurses function in an independent and interdependent environment.  The majority of the time, the practitioner's involvement at the care recipient's side is of an independent nature, when direct supervision of an action is not possible.  There is an implicit trust by the client that the Registered Nurse is an ethical, moral and competent person.  The Standards of Practice from the College of Nurses of Ontario, the Regulated Health Professions Act and other program legislation governing professional behavior focuses on the protection of the public.
As students preparing to become health care professionals, it is imperative that your behaviors and attitudes reflect the professional, ethical standards that are embraced by your chosen profession.  We believe that a value system incorporating high moral and ethical integrity is of vital importance, and regard the absence of such values as critical and dangerous to practice.  We believe integrity to be a quality that includes sound moral principles, sincerity, honesty and self-respect.
The College of Nurses of Ontario Guidelines for Professional Behavior state:
"Nurses have a duty to participate in and promote the growth of the profession, and to conduct themselves in a manner which is becoming to the profession"
Nurses need to care for one another and respect their colleagues.  They need to work collaboratively with other Nurses, trust in the expertise of one another, and refer to others when they do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise themselves;

A nurse needs to:

  • Contribute to positive team functioning and supporting colleagues;
  • Conduct oneself in a way which promotes respect for the profession;
  • Cooperate with regulatory functions.

The CNO also has requisite skills and abilities for all nurses; all students are encouraged to review these to ensure they will be eligible to practice under CNO.   This document can be found here.
Conestoga Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITAL) has a policy on Standards of Conduct in the Learning Environment.
If a student's behavior/conduct interferes with the learning process or in any way jeopardizes the safe environment of the classroom or clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the class or clinical session.
"Inappropriate Behavior" or unsafe practices may require the withdrawal of the student from the course prior to the end of the course.  Consequently, the student will receive a Failing grade for the course.
As a Conestoga-McMaster BScN student you are also required to behave according to the academic policies of McMaster University, include following the academic integrity policies. Please see: the BScN Handbook and Academic Integrity at McMaster.

Program Standards for Professionalism

Professional Appearance Policy (see BScN Handbook)

As a Nursing student in the clinical or community setting your patients and their families see you as a member of the health care team.  Your appearance can inspire confidence in your ability to care for them.  Neatness, cleanliness, conservative makeup, jewelry, and safety considerations all help to create a look of competence, commitment and professionalism.  It is your responsibility to maintain this appearance.  If you choose not to do this, your Professor/Clinical Tutor may ask you to leave the clinical area. Specific hospital/agency policies may vary from McMaster policy.  Student uniforms must conform to the uniform policy of the institution in which students are placed. Please note that this policy also applies to the Clinical Learning Centre and the Simulation Lab.


Cellphones and/or smartphones for personal use are not permitted in the clinical setting/lab and community agencies.

Cowan Health Sciences Centre

Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all students

The Clinical Lab areas of the Cowan Health Sciences Centre (CHSC) are comprised of clinical bed labs, the Cross Centre for the Advancement of Patient Care Simulation and the Open Access Lab.  In order to maintain these as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn.  The purpose of this dress code is to insure the safety of the student, Faculty and staff and also to prepare for the clinical environment.   The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.
All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences.  Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. (If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab)

Dress Requirements

  • Lab coat, scrubs or clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean)

    • Note: the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning requires full clinical uniform to be worn.  i.e. Family of Nursing/RT: scrubs, Paramedic/Pre-Service Fire: uniform

  • Closed toe, closed heel shoes as per Occupational Health & Safety requirements

  • Hair tied back, if hair is long, then it must be up and secured.

  • No rings, necklaces or dangling earrings

    • A pair of studs may be worn; one in each ear

    • A plain wedding band may be worn

  • Nails should be kept neat and short; artificial nails and nail polish are not allowed

  • No hats to be worn (exceptions related to the Human Rights Code)

  • No denim or sweat pants

  • Nametags must be worn

Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper hand washing/hygiene is in effect.

Cowan Health Sciences Centre/Open Access Lab

Human Resources

  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse are Nurses who work in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre
  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse act as a resource in introducing users to the lab, maintaining the lab environment/supplies, and assisting students with practicing and evaluation of skills related to client care
  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse are also available to students requiring remedial assistance

Please note:

Accessing the Clinical Labs

1. Procedures for booking Lab practice during normal hours

Booking practice time/and or materials may be done in person with one of the Interprofessional Resource Nurse or by telephone 519-748-5220 ext. 3457 or by email openaccesscentre@conestogac.on.ca. All materials borrowed for use outside the lab must be signed for and returned to the lab in good condition within the specified time.

2. Procedure for booking after-hours and weekend Lab practice

  • It is preferred that the booking be done at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Contact one of the Interprofessional Resource Nurse to book the time.  The following information will need to be provided to the Interprofessional Resource Nurse:
    1. Day, time and duration of practice
    2. Full names of all persons in attendance
      1. This allows the CHSC team to notify security appropriately.
      2. You must have at least one other person (in the program) with you for this practice
      3. Persons outside the programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences will not be admitted to the Open Access Lab
      4. Appropriate lab attire must be worn while in the Open Access
  • On the day of practice, please check in with Security with your Conestoga ID.  Security will unlock the lab
  • When you are finished practicing please contact Security to have them lock the door
  • You will not be allowed to use the medication cart during unsupervised practice

All students must leave the lab by 2200 hours.  THE CENTRE MUST NOT BE LEFT UNATTENDED DURING AFTER-HOUR USE.

User Responsibility regarding Clinical Learning Centre Maintenance

Supplies for injection practice will be available ONLY during regular lab hours.
All users will maintain the environment in a safe, clean and tidy manner:

  • All equipment must be cleaned, re-stocked and re-wrapped as necessary
  • Beds in low position, neatly made, furniture positioned appropriately
  • Handle manikins carefully
  • Chairs are to be stacked safely in designated areas when not in use

Students will be responsible for cleaning and tidying up.
All materials borrowed by teachers and students for use outside the Clinical Learning Centre must be signed for and returned to the centre in good condition within the specified time.
Purses, coats, knapsacks and extra books are to be left in your lockers.
Students are responsible for the replacement of damaged or lost equipment in Clinical Learning Centre or community agencies. e.g.: student dropping IVAC thermometer.

Academic Offences and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy found in the BScN McMaster Handbook. The Academic Offences Policy provides a detailed description of the following:

  • Scope of academic integrity,
  • What academic integrity means,
  • What types of behaviours constitute a breach of academic integrity,
  • The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.

After reading this information, if you do not fully understand what is meant by academic integrity, and what is required of you to maintain academic integrity, please speak with a faculty member or your program Coordinator. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is very important, and that it is your responsibility as a Conestoga student to know the Academic Offences Policy and to initiate help if you do not fully understand it.

Below are a few hints to help you avoid breaching academic integrity.

  • Make sure that you recognize information that requires referencing.
Example Required Referencing
Milk is good for you. General information in the public domain. Does not require referencing.

"According to Health Canada milk beverages provide the nutrients needed for healthy bones and optimal health".

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Direct quote right from a published source. Requires a reference.

Consuming milk every day provides the nutrients that you need for healthy bones and optimal health.

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Information that has been put into your own words, but offers information outside of public domain related with specialized knowledge. Requires a reference.

Copyright – What Students Need to Know

Photocopying and scanning at Conestoga are governed by the Copyright Act, an agreement with Access Copyright, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Fair Dealing Policy.

Under the terms of our Access Copyright license which gives the broadest permission:

You can photocopy or scan the following:

  • Up to 10% of most published works.
  • One chapter that is greater than 10%, but no more than 20% of the book.
  • One article, short story, play, poem or essay from a book, magazine or journal issue containing other works.
  • One newspaper article or page.
  • One entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work.
  • One drawing, sculpture, painting, print, architectural work of art or work of artistic craftsmanship from a larger volume containing other works.

Cumulative Copying

If you copy 10% of a book today, 10% next week, 10% the week after that, and so on, this is called cumulative copying and it is not allowed. The copy limits apply to an entire academic year, so once you reach the limit for an item, you can't copy more until the next academic year.

You cannot copy or scan the following:

  • Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use.
  • Instruction manuals
  • Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints.
  • Advertisements
  • Business cases
  • Full Textbooks
  • Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list.

You can find all of this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.

If you have any questions about copyright or the limits of copying on campus, contact James Yochem, Copyright Coordinator, at Jyochem@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3746.

Safe Practice

Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who is or wants to be a professional.

There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training in your program that have been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These will be reviewed with you during your program.

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention and follow-through:

  1. Your personal safety begins with the use of professional attire and foot wear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college. 
  2. Help us have a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, by ensuring lap top cords do not snake across walking areas and by reporting equipment or facility problems when you see them.
    Concerns such as these in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre may be reported to an employee in the Interprofessional Resources team.
  3. Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioral conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.  
  4. Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a practicum, your Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Preceptor will ensure that you are aware of safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the Responsible Faculty and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required. For example, should outside temperatures during the summer become unusually hot, very high temperatures may occur in some workplaces; this could require that specific steps be taken to ensure a safe working environment. 
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. This is an opportunity to problem-solve about how to avoid these areas of concern for the future.

Student Protection Acknowledgement

A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures". 

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         

  • Academic Credential Procedure 
  • Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
  • Academic Offences Policy & Procedure 
  • Academic Recognition Policy
  • Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
  • Co-operative Education Policy
  • Discontinuance Policy & Procedure
  • Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
  • Grading Procedure
  • Graduation Requirements and Convocation Procedure
  • Honours Policy & Procedure
  • Program Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
  • Student Code of Conduct Policy
  • Student Concerns and Issues Policy & Procedure
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure

Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfill and enforce these standards.


Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones

To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, and during formal break time in field placement.

Laptops and other forms of technology may be used in the classroom when the use pertains to the content and processes of learning facilitated by the professor/team member. If your technology use is disruptive to the class, the faculty/staff may ask you to leave the class until such time that you are able to re-engage in the learning process. 

Social Media Policy

  • Social media has many advantages for a professional. It can be used to network, to resource information and keep current
  • As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.


  • According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet. Social media sites create and archive copies of every piece of content posted, even when deleted from on-line profiles. Once information is digitalized, the author relinquishes all control." The same organization also indicates "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment. As the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario notes, users may intend to share their online existence solely within their own network, but in theory anyone can access the user's musings, photos and information. Further, the words can be altered, forwarded and misquoted. "

Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media

Ensure that your posts reflect you as the professional you are and wish to become – if a potential employer were to see your posts.

  1. Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
  2. Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  3. Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  4. Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
  5. Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  6. Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
  7. Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
  8. Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  9. Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others.

    Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences:
  1. Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
  2. Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites (Keep faculty and staff as resources to connect with after you have graduated or after you have left the college)

Cell Phone Policy

Students should respect their professors and other instructors by following program policy and not use their cell phones for personal use during class time. This is representative of the professional manner in which you are expected to act as you prepare to enter the workforce.

Students will not bring their cell phone or technology device into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. Phones should be left in your locker or left in your bag at the front of the classroom. In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test (parents with young children, students experiencing a family emergency, etc.) please speak to your professor as soon as you enter the examination room. Those who have been permitted to bring a phone into the classroom will likely be asked to either leave the phone with the professor, or they may be permitted to leave their phone out on their desk where it is visible to the professor and proctors. In any case, students are not permitted to touch or answer the phone without raising their hand to ask for the professor/proctor's permission. If you are found to have a cell phone in your possession during an examination that has not been declared, you will be asked to leave the examination room, and will be given a zero on the assessment.


Attendance and Student Success Strategies


In view of the learning complexities of the BScN Nursing Program, it is imperative that students attend classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences as scheduled. Health Science Programs are based on competency-based curricula with defined learning outcomes, which place a great deal of emphasis on the minimum theoretical and practical competencies required to enter the profession. Therefore, students who are absent from class, lab, clinical, and community experiences place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning outcomes as stipulated by the Program.
If extenuating circumstances require students to miss a learning experience, please note that it is the student's responsibility to share this information with Faculty and to acquire any missed information. 

Student Absence for Test/Examination or Due Date of an Assignment:

Please see the BScN Handbook for current policies and/or your Level information.

Clinical Practice Attendance

Attendance at Clinical Practice and college laboratories is mandatory.
Punctuality:  In order to be respectful to both fellow students and to Faculty and staff, students are expected to arrive on time for classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences.  Repeated late arrivals may result in the student being denied access to the class or clinical experience. 
The campus will make the cancellation decision, sometime between 0515 and 0545hrs. If Conestoga College Doon Campus is closed for any reason, such as weather, all classes are cancelled. If McMaster University is closed but Conestoga, Doon Campus, remains open, classes continue.
Faculty and students should listen to the local radio stations which will broadcast the cancelation of College activities.

Required Skills and Abilities to Attend Professional Practice

In the Event of Temporary Change in Health Status
Professional practice or clinical practice is part of each level of the RPN-BScN Program at Conestoga College. The expectation is that students attend 100% of their clinical experience and fully participate in providing patient care. A primary responsibility of the Program is consideration for the health and safety of patients/clients/residents in the clinical setting and of students. The Program, in keeping with requirements set out by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and reflected in the entry-to-practice competencies, requires that students meet the requisite skills and abilities as defined by the College of Nurses (2012).
The components necessary for nursing practice have been placed in the following 7 categories:

  • Cognitive
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Behavioural
  • Psycomotor
  • Sensory
  • Environmental

The Program requests practice placements for our students from our clinical partners. This relationship is formalized through affilliation agreements which define responsibilites of both parties. Students are guests in these practice environments who must abide by the policies and procedures of the site and ensure principles of infection prevention and control are maintained.
If a student cannot meet the requisite skills and abilites and/or requires the use of assistive devices that may contribute negatively to infection prevention and control practices, the student will not be permitted to participate in professional practice activities. Each case will be considered individually and evaluated by the Placement Office and the Level Coordinator. In order to return to placement, medical documentation is required that clearly indicates the student is able to resume full duties without any restrictions. Reference: College of Nurses of Ontario. (2012) Requisite Skills and abilites for nursing practice in Ontario. Toronto, Ontario: College of Nurses of Ontario, p.1-3

Religious Holidays

Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or do alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.

Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council

It is the responsibility of the student to:

a. Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;

b. Advise the faculty member that he/she will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.



Academic Progress Through the Program

Academic Standing

Students completing the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga BScN program must refer to the Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook as well as the current McMaster course calendar for academic policies and grading criteria.
You can find the McMaster Undergraduate Calendar on the website under the registrar's office.
Specific policies for students enrolled in the BScN program regarding achievement criteria, academic probation, discontinuance, withdrawal, appeals, clearance of academic deficiencies, and process for resolution of student concerns may be found in the two publications mentioned above.

Interview Record

This document will be completed at the discretion of the faculty, coordinators or Program Chair when a student's practice and/or classroom performance or behaviour is:

  1. of concern
  2. unacceptable
  3. unsatisfactory

The identified goals will indicate clearly to the student what action must be taken if he/she is to be successful in the semester.
After viewing and signing of this form, a copy is:

  1. Given to the student
  2. kept in the student's file

Clinical Remediation Process

Clinical instructors are committed to provide students with clinical experiences that enhance learning as well as ensure the safety of patients in the clinical setting. The program is designed to certify that students are equipped with optimal theoretical and practical knowledge in order to provide safe care to patients. Students who are deemed by their clinical educator as not meeting safety and/or clinical outcomes may be removed from the clinical area. To facilitate student success a student may be entitled to remediation, with the goal of returning to the clinical setting and completing the course. While this process is meant to support student success, it does not guarantee a pass in the course.

General Education / Breadth Electives

School of Liberal Studies

The purpose of diploma General Education electives and Degree Breadth electives is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed not just in their chosen career fields, but in all life paths. Working collaboratively with your program, General Education and Degree Breadth elective courses help develop the critical and creative thinking skills, civic engagement and knowledge of the broader world of arts, culture and science that helps make you more reflective, creative, and effective in your own life.

All Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, and Degree programs at Conestoga require students to complete general education electives / interdisciplinary breadth.

More information on these courses can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/electives.


Process for Resolution of Student Conerns

Refer to BScN McMaster Handbook

Maintaining Student Files

  1. Official records of each student's education are maintained electronically by the Registrar.
  2. Administrative records related to your experience in the Program are maintained to demonstrate compliance with external and college requirements. This information is as follows:
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

Pre Practicum Health Requirements (if applicable)

  • per copies of information received from students.

In H.S Trax, by individual student access

**accessed through My Conestoga

  • Each student has his/her own information on the Passport for provision to practicum agencies as required.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.

Acknowledgement of WSIB Understanding (if applicable)

  • Signed electronically by each student prior to the first practicum placements.
  • By the Program, online.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.

Student Consents Signed on Admission electronically (varies per program)

  • Student Consent for Release of Information
  • Student Understanding of Professional Standards
  • Student Understanding of Safety Requirements
  • Filed electronically.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.
  1. Academic Files are set up as required for a student to document important matters relevant to a student's progress or to document and monitor resolution of concerns.
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

A.  Documents related to academic progress

  • Correspondence regarding course equivalencies.
  • Correspondence re supplementary examinations.
  • Learning Contracts
  • Disabilities Information & plans.
  • In Student File, maintained by the Program Coordinator, initially, and then filed for safe-keeping during the student's time in the Program –maintained by the Program Assistant.
For 1 year following graduation or as required by accrediting body.

B.  Records of Competency Attainment

As above As above

C.  Documents related to areas of Concern

  • Interview Records, with supporting email documentation as appropriate.
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Incident Reports
  • Letters/emails of significant concern and replies.
  • Appeals
As above As above
  1. Students may review the contents of their academic file by:
    • Requesting this in writing to the Program Coordinator.
    • Reviewing the file in the presence of the Program Coordinator.

Additional Information for Students

  • Add/drop dates for courses:  Please refer to dates in the McMaster Undergraduate calendar.
  • Not attending a course does not constitute an official dropping of a course and will result in a grade of "F".  If you have missed that time period please see the program coordinator and she will advise you as to your options.
  • For further academic advisement, e.g. enquires about potential course credits from another university, please consult the Conestoga McMaster BScN Academic Adviser for the BScN program.  Her office is on 4B, Conestoga College. You may also speak with the program/level coordinator.
  • Locate the Conestoga Student Guide for further information

Additional Student Information

Change of name, address and telephone number

Change of name, home, temporary residence address and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the to the Registrar's office.  Forms for reporting changes are available from the Registrar's office. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the college and the student.

Guidelines and expenses incurred relating to clinical practice

Students will assume responsibility for expenses incurred while assigned to affiliating agencies, such as: meals, lockers, keys, parking, travel expenses and uniforms.

Part-time work

While students are enrolled in the BScN Nursing Program:

  1. Assigned functions and responsibilities within any clinical agency in which they are employed will not be recognized by the College in any form or fashion.
  2. The College does not assume responsibility for student performance while they work part-time in a clinical agency.
  3. Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College or McMaster logo.
  4. Students should realize that historically students who work a lot of part-time hours are less successful in the program.
  5. If a highly contagious outbreak occurs and a student is employed in a health care agency, their employment hours and/or clinical placement hours may be directly affected dependent on the agency's Infection Control Policy.

Please see BScN handbook for more detail on part-time work, while in the Program. 

Field Placement Experiences

Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go into the Practicum Services Community in myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.

Practicum Health Requirements

Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:           

  • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B.  Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
  • CPR – HCP level
  • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS).  Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.


Pre-Practicum Health Requirements

Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:           

  • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B.  Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR – HCP level
  • Respirator Fit Testing
  • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS).  Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.

Student Consent Forms

  • Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go into the Practicum Services Community in myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.

Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)

  • All students who participate in unpaid education placements during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on placement.  The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to placement sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.

Student Awards

The finance office contains a list of all bursaries and scholarships available for students. On a regular basis, they email all students which bursaries have come due for application. At any time, students may check the College web site for relevant financial aid.

RPN-BScN students may apply for any eligible scholarships or bursaries they are eligible for from the 3 collaborative sites: Conestoga, McMaster, and Mohawk. Please see Awards website from appropriate sites for more information or contact the Financial Aid offices.

Award Name Amount Criteria
Guelph General Hospital Auxiliary Award $300 Highest mark across sites
Mary-Joe Halliwell General Proficiency Award $500 Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high level of theoretical academic achievement (A range), ability to apply theory to clinical practice, and personal and professional growth.
RNAO Wellington Chapter Award $500 Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrates professional development through participation in professional Nursing Student Association Activities. The student is a student member of R.N.A.O. and participates in community based activities.

(Students to submit a letter of application of 150 words or less, plus a reference letter from a Faculty who they have worked with in levels 3 or 4)
RNAO Waterloo Chapter Leadership Award $350 plus One year free membership to RNAO Awarded to a graduating student who has demonstrated leadership or professional initiative on behalf of patient care and / or the nursing profession.
Jean O'Leavy Award for Excellence in Nursing $200 Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high ability to apply theory to clinical practice, consistent personal and professional growth, and high academic achievement (A range).

Judy Cooper Memorial Award $300 Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated support to classmates and a caring attitude to patients, satisfactory performance in the completion of clinical/ community experiences, and high academic achievement (B+ or greater).
Dr. Stanley F. Leavine Memorial Award $100 Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high ability to apply theory to clinical practice, consistent personal and professional growth, and high academic achievement (A range).

BScN Faculty Leadership Award RPN to BSCN stream variable

full-time or part-time student in year 4 of the McMaster-Conestoga RPN to BScN stream of the program

demonstrate dedication to his/her studies and commitment to the program;  demonstrate excellence in application of clinical studies
Lilian Brown Nursing Award $500 Summative Average of 9.5, demonstrates initiative, care and compassion in clinical practice
Homewood Foundation Scholarship in Psychiatric Nursing $1000 Exhibits an interest in mental health and is completing or will be completing a mental health placement
Ardelle Darling Memorial Award $250 accepted into 3rd year, demonstrates caring and compassion, communicates effectively, demonstrates passion for the profession
Kathy Sullivan Memorial Award $1000 Exhibits strong work ethic, and above all for you empathetic and caring attitude.
Cosmetic Surgery Clinic of Waterloo
Nursing Achievement Award
TBD Have successfully completed year 2 of the BScN program and be registered to proceed to year 3;
Have achieved a minimum GPA of 9.6 (80%); Assume a leadership role amongst his or her peers and contribute to the success of the program by helping others;
Exude a positive attitude and commitment to nursing.
St. Mary’s General Hospital Education Award TBD This award is presented to a student who obtains a high level of achievement in theory, is able to apply theory to clinical practice and who demonstrates an interest in post graduate studies.

College Hours

Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday,  8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

In some instances, classes will be scheduled outside of this time frame to accommodate course, program, and college requirements.

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.

Attendance for Evaluations

Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend.  If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.  
Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.
While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.  
In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:

Faculty Responsibilities

  • To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
  • To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
  • To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
  • To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
  • To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.

Student Responsibilities

  • To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
  • To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
  • If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

  1. Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
  2. Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
  3. Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
  4. Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.

Important! Please note the following:

  • The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
  • The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
  • If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
  • When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%

Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

  • Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate.
  • Students will complete any necessary forms. 
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
  • Tests will be made up in the Conestoga Test Centre in the following week, or by individual arrangements with course faculty member.
  • If the evaluation is to be conducted in the Conestoga Test Centre, students will be asked to show their ONECard* before permitted to write the test.

* Students taking part-time courses or in programs where OneCard is not provided such as Apprenticeship may be asked to show alternate ID.

Program Handbook Revision Log

Last Revised By Whom
June 18th, 2015 Jillian Grant
June 23rd, 2015 Lynn Voelzing
May 17th, 2016 Shelley Sager
June 28th, 2016 Jillian Grant
June 28, 2016 Lynn Voelzing
June 14th, 2017 Krisden Galloway
May 31st, 2018 Krisden Galloway

Accommodation Disclaimer

Conestoga College is dedicated to promoting an equitable environment where students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of College life. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Conestoga College recognizes its responsibility and legal obligation to provide education, information and services in an accessible manner.

The Program Handbook is intended to provide general information with respect to program expectations. There may be individual accommodations and/or medical circumstances that require exceptions. For example, students may need to be accommodated for a missed assignment or evaluation. Students who are registered with Accessibility @ Conestoga are not required to provide an additional doctor's note for a missed or late evaluation. For more information about Accessibility @ Conestoga please drop in or visit our website.

We recognize that other extenuating circumstances may apply. Consult with your Professor. All exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.